Makoto Shinkai, the director of anime box office hits “Your Name” and “Weathering With You,” has set his next anime film, “Suzume no Tojimari,” for release in the fall of 2022.
Shinkai announced the news Wednesday in a press conference via Japanese studio Toho’s YouTube channel, saying that the film is his first in three years since 2019’s “Weathering With You.”
“Suzume no Tojimari,” which does not yet have an English title or distributor, is a road movie following a 17-year-old girl from a small town who travels around Japan in order to visit abandoned places and work to close the “doors of calamity” on her personal journey of liberation and growth. She follows a young man to a dilapidated building in the mountains only to find a free-standing, undisturbed door. As she’s drawn to an invisible power inside it, similar doors all over Japan start opening one after another and must be closed to shut out the calamity that lays on the other side.
Shinkai began work on the film in January 2020 and started animation production in April. Shinkai developed the original story, the screenplay and is directing. Masayoshi Tanaka is the character designer, Kenichi Tsuchiya is the animation director, Takumi Tanji is the art director, and the film is produced by STORY Inc with production by CoMix Wave Films. Toho Co. Inc, will distribute.
Shinkai’s 2016 film “Your Name” was a box office juggernaut in Japan, currently sitting as the fifth highest grossing movie in Japanese history, and it’s the third highest Japanese film and anime film in the country ever behind only “Demon Slayer: Mugen Train” and Hayao Miyazaki’s “Spirited Away.” The film grossed $358.1 million worldwide and is being developed as a live-action remake, and the film currently sits at No. 70 on IMDB’s Top 250 Films list. His follow-up “Weathering With You” is just outside the top 10 on the Japanese box office charts and made a still-impressive $193 million worldwide, even besting “Your Name” in its U.S. box office haul by making a respectable $8 million.
See the full announcement of the Toho press conference with Makoto Shinkai above.